The trials and tribulation of writing for an international audience… or being a writer in a non-US country, maybe? I don’t know. I’m sure it’s true that the world of internet reading is dominated by the US consumer, but it can put a non-US person in a difficult position. We do have different perspectives on the world. When I was travelling, especially in the southern hemisphere, it gave me a whole new perspective on my own country, and I felt like a stranger for months after I got back. I know I’m fully assimilated into my own cultural biases once more. And that sometimes gives me problems when writing, and reading, even though I try hard to iron them out.
Take Giveaways, for example. In any list of Giveaway hops, at least 50% will be US only. That’s fine, the author is probably US based and wants to save on postage. Sorry, shipping. Mine are ‘International’ and I’m always happy to see someone from another country come through the rafflecopter as the winner. I sometimes specify Europe, which makes sure I have a ‘local’ winner, although it does make me feel bad for my Canadian, Indian and Australian friends, but it’s hard to make it ‘International except US’! That’s too much discrimination! So, while I like to get plenty of diversity among my giveaway winners, I was disappointed that all seven of my blog tour prizes were won by US residents. On the other hand, both winners of the Princelings of the East Goodreads Giveaway came from the UK, so it definitely does work at random.
All of which is to let you know that The Princelings and the Lost City is now in a Goodreads Giveaway – running until November 30th. You can enter here:
Goodreads Book Giveaway
The Princelings and the Lost City
by Jemima Pett
Giveaway ends November 30, 2015.
See the giveaway details
It was while setting up this giveaway I noticed something strange had happened to my Goodreads ratings for Lost City – and for the BookElves Anthology Volume 1. They’d both dropped dramatically. As far as I knew, there was only one 4-star rating for BookElves, and it now showed only 3 stars under the title. Lost City had dropped from 5 to 4.17, which was very disappointing, as it had a solid 5-star rating and was how I feel about the book. When I looked closer, I saw that ALL my books listed on Goodreads (including the Love Actually sampler, previously unrated) had a one-star rating applied.
So I filtered the ratings and found they were all by someone called L, and posted on 15th October 2015. L’s profile was private, no avatar, and had 14,473 ratings, of which all but 9 were 1 star! (the 9 were 2 stars, and I wonder why). I conclude I am the victim of a troll. Along with around 3,000 other authors. If I had the time, I might look at whether L targets only self-pubs, or people on certain forums, or what. I’m not sure whether Goodreads bothers to look at them, or whether I should ask them to. Maybe I should just forget it.
The other thing I noticed was a review of the BookElves Volume 1 (paperback) which mentioned it had typos. I have double checked, and I can’t find them. I may be missing those pesky ‘missing words’. One of my co-authors may find them. But, I think the problem might come back to this international business. Our seven stories are written by authors in four countries. We use our native English spellings – either US or UK style. I wonder whether the reviewer was so unused to UK English she thought they were typos? Should I comment? Well, I haven’t. What I have done is make sure that Anthology Volume 2 states that some stories are in US and some in UK English. It probably won’t make any difference to the reader.
I considered whether to edit the Anthology into one or other version. But which to choose? I’m sure to alienate half my audience that way! No, let’s just roll with the punches, and keep focussing on writing the best books I can, in UK English where appropriate, and US where I need to. Vive la difference!
11 thoughts on “Giveaways, trolls, and spelling mistakes”
Good post, Jemima. I was trolled last year and when I contacted Goodreads they weren’t interested, even though the user stats were as obvious as the ones you mentioned. I had to just ignore and move on, albeit disillusioned.
Sorry you’ve been the victim of a troll. Sadly, there really is nothing to be done. I have to wonder what someone gets out of doing that. I suppose a few authors are foolish enough to engage with them, giving the excuse to go ballistic on them. Have to figure anyone who gets their jollies that way is just pathetic.
Since I proofed BookElves I, I have to agree that the “spelling errors” are UK/US issues! 🙂
Wouldn’t it be nice to throttle a few of these trolls. There’s no way they’ve read all the books they plague with one star and if they had it’s a reflection on their reading rather than the writing that leads them to give one star.
All one star reviews should be removed if the author of them has given nothing other than one and two stars in the last 10 books.
They must derive some kind of pleasure from what they do but heaven alone knows what it is.
xxx Huge Hugs Jemima xxx
I just looked L up again. (S)he’s added another 800 one-star ratings in the last week!
It’s not just a pain for the author, it’s a pain for people looking to get a decent, quick idea of a book’s appeal. If I’m looking at a book I’m interested in that has, say a 3-star rating or less, I always take the time to check what the low star reviews say, or if they’re just some random giving a star rating with no review.
The spelling thing is annoying too – are some Americans so sheltered that they can’t recognise a UK spelling of a word and instead label it a typo??
I am sorry for the low star ratings.
Like the other commenters I look at low star ratings to see what has been said, often I have noticed that on Amazon they will criticise the shipping time or even the unfriendly postman… And that often the people leave negative reviews everywhere.
I suppose that maybe if the other authors contacted goodreads it might work? Can people flag innapropriate reviews?
That’s a good point, Solveig – I have noticed a dimmed flag on posts in Groups, I must check what they are for and whether they also appear on reviews… but if it’s only ratings, I don’t think it shows.
Good luck! I guess that maybe getting in touch with the other badly rated authors might help.
There are a group of folks who go after authors to punish them for ‘slights’ or behaviour that they consider unethical. They have an army of folks who one star everything by certain authors who offend them decimating their ratings. Sadly, while they are quick to point out or punish unethical behaviour in authors, they do not see the same behaviour as unethical when they indulge in it themselves. I find this fascinating, and very strange. It might be worth flagging ‘L’ up to Goodreads but doubtless the person will just open another account called M and continue.
Interesting, since there was some nonsense going on in the GMGR group at the time.
I will get my revenge – I will use their dirty tricks in the final book of the Princelings saga 🙂 I’ve been wondering just how to fix it so that what has to happen to Fred happens >:)
I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been the victim of a troll. I would like to take that person and kick them where,,, well, you get the point. I don’t understand what the trolls get out of it. There’s no upside. Hang in there, Jemima.
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